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>> guest: grace? >> host: your character grace? >> guest: well, you know grace is the character who was murdered at the beginning of the book. it was a pulitzer finalist by the way that year, not a nominee. not a nominee.
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so the pulitzer winner was given to john updike. i lost to john updike but grace is the person who begins the book. this is -- mean spirit is based on the oil boom in oklahoma. it's basically a true story with fictionary characters woven in. and it's about what happened during the oil boom. the non-indian men tried to come into the area to become oil wealthy and they they felt they could do so by marrying indian women and because they were men they could become owners of the land and so they often in certain areas they were guilty of killing women, of killing their own children, to have the land. they were very -- the world is a very greedy place at times. most of the time it seems these
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days. and the fbi formed around this case, the fbi story, the movie actually has it in it. and so they sent in one native man. i created the character red hawk to be the fbi informant. and he's actually from -- he's a lakota. but i also discovered later that an indian writer named gertrude was also sent there. and in real life. she is a writer. and wrote several one books at the turn of the century and also started a magazine called wasaha which has -- maybe it's still in print, with carlos montezuma.
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>> host: what was it about the 1920s in oklahoma that had you writing historical fiction? >> guest: stories from my family, primarily. these are oral traditions, not oral traditions so much as stories. i had a woman from new york, diane who was an actress and she wanted me to write a script for her to be in. and so it started out as a script and then ended up as a novel because we couldn't figure out what to do with the script. so i added to it and i expanded it and i had never written a novel before or studied fiction. so i had to teach myself how to write fiction and it was kind of a complicated thing to do. i would look at someone who was a really good fiction writer and compare their paragraph with my paragraph and see what was lacking in mine. and then think, oh, i could add
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this. i could do this. and so it was a practice i still keep doing when i'm writing fiction. >> who do you compare yourself to when you're writing it. >> guest: it depends on what book i've read recently and am amazed by. sometimes i'll look at -- one of the things, i think, with the poisonous bible which she had gone from a bestselling writer that doesn't necessarily mean you're a great writer but becoming a great writer. that was just a literary leap and masterpiece. and i read a book cellophane. i'm sorry i forgot about the author, a community, a few people who come from a firm
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forest and it's on an island and so i do research and i read books that are set in rain forest places and look at what's in there. so i -- a lot of work does go into every piece of work i do. and then i'm working on a book for the tribe, for the chickasaw nation, which is also requiring a lot of research and a lot of travel to the southeast. very few people understand or know much about southeast indians or those of us who have been removed and why our cultures are different than the ones that are stereotypes like navajo, you know, lakota. most non-indian americans think indian, they think of a certain kind of people, you know, they
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don't really think about people who have lost their homeland, who have been forced from them. they think of people who are still there. >> host: well, as a self-identified indian writer, what do you write about? what's the definition of that? >> guest: well, i'm not really self-identified. i'm tribally identified, you know, i'm -- it runs in the family. [laughter] >> guest: but i write about what our difficulties are. i write about political situations that are going awry, like the james bay hydro-quebec area. where they -- hydro-quebec decided to move a river, the st. louis river, and killed many caribou. and the people who were up there
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who had to fight that -- that dam project. and then i write about -- well, in my essays i take, you know, many different issues. right now i'm writing about things that are very small. and including atoms which we know we think they are there but we haven't seen, you know, and what they can do to people. i usually select a political topic with power, the novel power. i wrote about the florida panther which is a very endangered species. and lived in an extremely toxic environment and so is ill. as are all the creatures in the everglades because of the agricultural runoff and the other difficulties there. and so i based it on a true story which was the killing of a
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florida panther. i went to the everglades. i stayed with the biologists, jed jensen, who's a wildlife biologist for florida panthers and i did the research in the arc -- in the courthouse on the case which was pretty cut and dried, really. if they had just told the truth about what had happened, it would have been over but the case went on for four years with much conflict with environmentalists and tribes and, you know, numerous people fighting for different reasons. >> host: who are the chickasaw indians and where do they live? where's their nation? >> guest: oh, well, we're -- who are the chickasaw indians? let's see, we've been around for, you know, centuries and centuries and centuries and we're from the southeast.
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mississippi, tennessee. i just came from a repatriation -- i all call it a rematriation in kentucky from some of our remains from the past. we came from the mississippians which was many mississippians were the builder of kahokia and many other mounds. the mounds are all across the southeast. it's an incredibly complex culture, in the past, and then we were then removed because of andrew jackson's policies. and corruption and ended up in oklahoma, which was i.t., indian territory. and oklahoma from our word meaning red people. the united states government wanted to build a wall around
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oklahoma and place all the indian people of america inside of it, of the americas, you know, this continent. the idea was to keep everyone from going out so the soil could remain with white americans and immigrants who wanted to farm. the erosion, the eroded area, but we ended up in the area around southeastern oklahoma and we're still there. we survived civil war and land graft and corruption and the dawes act gave us our reservation and it happened in
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minnesota and numerous other places so we lost our reservation system and in that way we lost our land and we survived the sooners and i always wondered why all of our guys really like the sooners because i keep thinking doesn't anyone ever think about what that word means? >> host: what does it mean? >> guest: it's from the oklahoma land run, the land rush into the country of oklahoma. >> host: early 20th century? >> guest: i'm trying to think of the year. no. it would have been around -- just before that, the end of the 19th century. >> host: okay. >> guest: i always feel like i grew up in the 19th century -- and i also get 1900s and 2000s -- when i talk about the 1700s, i call it the 17th century so i have to be careful. we went from poverty and
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especially, you know, when i was a girl, the poverty was really intense. and we had a very difficult life. and as a tribal nation into being economically stable and we now are doing really quite well. we have all categories of people who make different kinds of incomes so i can't say that everybody is doing great. but basically economically the tribal is doing well and has scholarships for students to go to school. >> host: let's go back to the original question. what are sooners? >> guest: sooners were the people who wanted to get in the soonest and claim land. and the land had belonged to the indian people. >> host: linda hogan, in your book, the woman who watches over the world, a native memoir, you
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write, i've concluded over the years that the two ways native and european are almost impossible to intertwined that they are parallel worlds taking place at the same time, bridges only, sometimes made allowing for a meeting place of lives. >> guest: well, there are different ways of knowledge. and i have been around so many different tribal nations that i understand the different -- many different ways of understanding the world according to even the languages, carry the ecosystem of the world and they have a great amount of knowledge and it's very significant for us to realize that we have our own astronomies, for instance.
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that we have different ways of knowing the world and understanding and seeing the world than the majority of the dominant culture, the western mind. and so one of the things that i've been working with in many years and with different groups and how to bring the western mind and the native mind together. there's not just one native mind. in fact, i once said, well, i know how i think or how, you know, some of us chickasaws think, but i don't know how an apache thinks. i can't say i would know that and a week later someone sent me a question and the apache philosopher has a book and we would like to know if you would like to write the introductions and so thought it's interesting. now i'll have a little inkling of what an apache thinks.
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we're not alike. we do have all have our own astronomies and we have our own ecosystems from where we come from, and our own languages and it makes for a very interesting mix. but it's not always the western mind. yet, when you read a history book, usually they're written by non-indians, and they're usually from the western lens, the history seen through the western point of view. which is why i'm working on the project i am now, which is history, archeology, our world seen from an indigenous point of view. >> host: where were you raised? >> guest: i was raised in colorado, in oklahoma, in germany, in -- i don't know. my father was in the military. we lived in colorado springs.
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he retired in colorado springs when i was 15. and after that, i graduated from -- i went to high school for two years there and then i moved to oregon and then i continued to raise myself all over. >> host: tell us about your parents, linda hogan. >> guest: well, what would you like to know specifically? >> host: who are they, where were they? >> guest: my mother is from nebraska from a farm family that moved into the city so i never knew them on the farm but i knew the farm relative but didn't know that family very intimately or well or -- i have cousins that i've met but i don't know -- you know, i haven't kept up with. and then there's my father's family who has always been a very close family, and we would
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always return to oklahoma for reunions and to visit his family and his parents and we'd all be there together and i had cousins and we would all spend our time together and i felt very much like that was my home. i've always felt that that was my home. >> host: your father's chickasaw, your mother is pennsylvania dutch? >> guest: that's right, yes. >> host: when did you start writing? >> guest: i didn't start writing until i was around -- in my late 20s, maybe 28. >> host: why? >> guest: well, i was married at the time. i read my first book of contemporary poetry. i didn't know there was such a thing. it was such magic -- first of all, i read was kenneth rex ross and it was about a cow, and i thought, what do i know about cows and i think i could write something about a cow but the
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minute i started trying to write in a contemporary way, the minute i knew it was this magical experience, that there was a feeling that i had never had before. and i loved it and i wanted to do it more. i still feel like that. i mean, i wrote today before i came here. i just get up in the morning and that's what i want to do. i want to write. and the days that i have to go to work, to my office, i feel deprived of my real work. i feel deprived of writing. it's what i really love. and there's a magic to it. there's something to it that i can't tell you. you hear it sometimes or you see it or you feel it, and it just has to be said, in the right way. >> host: as the chickasaw writer
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in residence, what do you do? >> guest: well, i do classes sometimes. i teach creative writing now and then in some of the smaller -- i just worked with the chickasaw -- some girls at the chickasaw children's home. it was a wonderful -- it was the highlight of my life this year. they were absolutely adorable and wonderful. and they did incredible work. they had relatives. and they remembered their great grandparents and their great grandparents. i was figuring out time periods when they were writing. i didn't ask them to write these things. they just did. they had a lot of freedom, but two of them had relatives that hid bonnie and clyde from the police. they didn't really know anything about bonnie and clyde but they knew the police were dangerous.
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and so they helped hide them but then the police chased them and they both wrote about that. it made such an impact on their life. and then another one had a grandfather that started the american indian movement was one of the originators of the american indian movement so thee wrote about him. and so it was exciting. and so i taught that class. i've also taught elder adults, and where i live, it's an underserved community. i've taught there. and then i also have written the performance which was an amazing performance that was put on, i think, for the last -- first time last year and we're working on sending it out on the road. it should be at the kennedy center. it turned out -- i couldn't believe it turned out so good.
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it was just amazing. and it had dancing in it, singing. it had our clans. it had the removal. my cousin margaret wheeler did many of the designs, set designs, and some of the costumes. she's a weaver, a professional weaver and she does traditional weaving and gerald tate was the composer of the music. it was a great set. the dance was amazing. the feeling and the emotion -- everyone that saw it came away just moved and touched by it. that's one of the things i did. i wrote a children's book for arts and humanities, which is one of our stories for children. and it's a bilingual book. >> host: how does it work, linda
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hogan -- you live in the capital of the chickasaw nation; correct. >> guest: yes >> host: how does it work to have the chickasaw nation in oklahoma. what are the autonomy and the politics, et cetera? >> guest: i'm not sure i understand exactly what you mean, how does it work? >> host: how does it work? does have it -- is it another government layer? does have it to report to the state of oklahoma. how much as an autonomy -- >> guest: oh, no, we're a sovereign nation. >> host: okay. so do you -- does that mean that -- do you have to follow the laws of oklahoma since you're contained within the state of oklahoma? >> guest: well, i wouldn't want to break them. i did get a ticket once. [laughter] >> guest: and i had to pay it. i couldn't say, i'm sorry. i'm not a citizen. [laughter] >> host: so again, how does that work with the sovereign nation? >> guest: we have the ability to
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make treaties with the government. we have the ability to negotiate with the other governments if we want to. we have the ability to be a country, our own country and make our own decisions. and so that's basically how it works, to be a sovereign nation. we're a country. we're our own nation. >> host: why did you call your memoir "the woman who watches over the world"? >> guest: it's based on this beautiful folk art piece that i bought in the museum in california at a folk art museum, and it was a woman sort of flying and she had the earth in her hand and it looked like a pumpkin but you could see the outline of the south america and some of the other continents on it. and i fell in love with her.
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but i love folk art but a lot of it is clay and it's not fired and it's fragile. and when we arrived, i had them send it because i knew i would break it in my luggage. but when it arrived, i believe her legs were broken off. and then later another part broke off. and i thought about how it's so like our world. it's breaking. and we need so much to protect it. and so i have -- i still have her and she's still broken. i haven't even tried to glue her back together because i feel like part of my work is not only work for my own people but to also work for the whole world,
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for every living thing on earth. i care about that. it matters to me. it matters to me more than anything. so i wanted this to be someone watching over the world, looking over the world, carrying for it. observing. >> host: in your 1995 book, the spiritual of the living world you write here's a lesson. what happens too people and what happens to the land is the same thing. >> guest: yes. and what happens to the land also happens to the people. for instance, i watch rancher poison feeder trees without realizing -- without thinking ahead to what happens when you put poison on the trees.
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that that poison then goes into the water. you may have killed the tree but you also put that in your water supply. and so we're connected to everything and we have to be careful for what we do and the effect of the future. so what happens -- what we do to the land affects us. the league of six nations talk about being careful for the next seven generations. but in my opinion, we need to think further than even seven generations. we need to think far into the future. >> host: what's ecofeminism? >> guest: you know, i have no idea exactly what that is. i am called that. there are conferences where they talk about my books on
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ecofeminism. the only thing i can think of is the idea -- the notion that the body of the woman, the body of the earth are very similar, and that when women speak out for the earth, somehow it becomes ecofeminism. i don't know, exactly. but i know that one of the problems, i think, academically that i have had is that i think of race and class first in my life. and i think of being a woman a little later down the line because race and class -- class is such an issue. people who live in poverty -- poverty is more of an issue for me than being a female. although if i were a male, i certainly would have a different life. i realize that as i get older. that my life would have had -- i
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would have had more income, more security, more -- probably more sales with my books, you know, than being a female. but, you know, it took me a long time to think about that. >> host: in the woman who watches over the world you quote -- i don't know if it's a poem or an essay, for giving us the horse we can almost forgive the alcohol, almost. >> guest: yes. that's a poem by a friend of mi mine. >> host: what does that mean? >> guest: well, the horse -- you know, the horse became such a sacred animal everywhere. the aztecs laid down red cloth for the horse to walk on and the names for the horse in societies
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were holy, you know, sacred dog. the horse was and is not only valuable and useful but is the only thing from european culture that has entered into the mythology of tribal nations. there are horse songs, there are horse -- horse stories, horse myths. the navajo have a beautiful -- i would almost call it a prayer for the horse about, you know, the stripes -- the feet of agat, the lightening mane. it's just this beautiful long ode to the horse that i love.
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i would love to write a book about indian horses and we had our own breed of possibliy, the chickasaw horse which is very much my horse is. >> host: and you're a rider? >> guest: pardon? >> host: you're a rider? >> guest: no, i'm not a rider any longer. i can't afford an accident. >> host: you've already had one? >> guest: aide brain injury. i had numerous other injuries. and my body is older now. i'm a little more fragile. i just can't afford to have another accident. and even -- my horse is very short. and when she decides she doesn't want me on there, it's easy to get off and she can slide me off if she wants to but she's a
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mustang and she has, you know, some habits. when i was first -- when i first had her, i was riding her and i was in a -- she was in a large pasture with 72 acres and i was with some friends and we were writing up after some other horses. she just laid down with me on her. and i thought -- i got off. and the other women with me said, oh, that's the evil pony routine. never get off and just stand on, and when they stand up you're in the right spot. so i don't ride. [laughter] >> host: what was the effect of the accident that you had. can you tell us about that? >> guest: well, yes. i had a brain injury and -- i lost my home. i lost my job at the university of colorado for a while. i went back later.
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but i had memory loss. i had to do cognitive therapy. i don't remember the accident. i don't remember a lot of things. i have -- i can work on my book and i can remember everything i'm working on. and, you know, there are just select areas of my brain that are still not full, that are not, you know, whole, i should say. they're not quite making the same connection that is they need to make but i'm forming new ones all the time. we always do. and so i think writing really helped me form new ones. and i kept writing the whole time that i could, while i was recovering. i had three fractures in my pelvis so i had a lot of time before i could get around very much.
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writing time. and anyway, i still have some short-term memory problems. one of my friends recently said, you know, you've asked me the same question or told me the same thing several times and i usually don't talk about brain injury, but i had to tell her, i had an accident. i don't always remember, you know, in pretend i remember everything and i'm friendly to people that i don't know because i probably think i do know them, [laughter] >> guest: so, you know, i survived it. >> host: good afternoon and welcome to booktv's "in depth" program. we've been talking with linda hogan, who is our guest this month. this is a program where each month we feature one author and his or her body of work so we can get to know that author a little bit and take your calls and questions and emails and sweets. if you'd like to call in and talk with native american writer
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and pulitzer finalist linda hogan, 202 is the area code, 624-1111, in the 202-624-1115. you can send us is tweet at booktv is our twitter handle. linda hogan, let's go back to the for giving us the horse we can almost forgive the alcohol before we get to our callers. let's go to the second part of that. we can almost forgive the alcohol, almost. >> guest: well, you know, alcohol is a very destructive -- was very destructive to the tribes and it was supposed to be. it was a manipulation. we had many manipulations that we had to deal with. and for us, they started early
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so in the 16th century, we were having to deal with the slave trade which indian people on the other side of the mississippi never had to think about. but we were being sold into the caribbean for sugar plantation slavery. and so were other tribes and we had to figure out how to get weapons. but also alcohol was brought in and it was destroying people. and so we actually had laws against bringing in alcohol, but, of course, the laws were violated. you know, we did not want it because of the destruction of the people. it also part of post-traumatic stress people still have, indian people still have, and the use of alcohol is still prevalent in some regions because the people
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are in the process of decolonizing themselves but it's a very difficult process and sometimes it's just easier for someone to give up and drink, i think. i watched people have difficult lives and spend money on alcohol. and, you know, ruin families. i watched it ruin families but i think that part of the -- there's a reason why people use it. and part of it is the pain. it's a way of killing pain. >> host: today, are native americans marginalized so they are invisible as you write? >> guest: it depends where you
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are and where you live. or do you mean as you write? >> host: as you have written in your books and in your essays? >> guest: well, i think -- yes, i have to say yes. to be consistent with my books and essays. [laughter] >> guest: but, you know, there is -- there's still racism. there's still, you know, conflict between native societies and america at large. i mean, i think about the snow bowl in flagstaff, for instance, building a ski area on the sacred mountain that's been one of the places of origin, one of the landmarks of the many
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tribes, not just the navajo in flagstaff and then not only it by human wastes and recycling to make snow for people to ski on and there was a big conflict over it. and the lack of understanding of what is sacred was shown when the forest service said well, exactly where is the line where the mountain ceases to be sacred, as if there's a -- you know, a spot where you can say, okay, this is sacred. this is not sacred. and so, yes, we're still marginalized. >> host: when it comes to policy, what influence do native americans have here in washington? >> guest: not enough. not enough. >> host: linda hogan is our guest and our first call for her
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comes from greg in cleveland. greg, you're on booktv. >> caller: hi, linda. >> guest: hello, greg. >> caller: yeah, part of my question is a comment and it has to do with the political side there. but i really feel that americans have this tremendous burden of guilt for the way we decimated the natives and i think that the americans are far worse than hitler ever was so why do you think that the black people have more political strength than the natives do and are able to seeming seemingly brings them up in the western society? >> guest: >> guest: there's a lot of things to respond in your
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comment and question, first of all, yes, america has been at war forever and we continue to be. and we have a history of destruction in this country and it's been ongoing. i have to agree with your question and the second part, why, i think the historical process has been more difficult for indian people and we're more invisible. you notice whenever you're in the newspaper they'll say asia and blacks, latino and that's it, natives are never mentioned or if there's an article about native american people it will be in the past tense as if we no longer exist.
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and that's why the black people are stronger. >> host: linda hogan, what's the difference between a sovereign nation, the chickasaw nation and the reservation system? >> guest: well, all of the tribes are sovereign nations. we just have allotments while some have reservations. and the allotments were created to break up tribal nations. and it didn't work. but families were separated, you know, according to land. land allotments were given. they were assigned. and they were in different areas. they were checkered board -- they call it a checkered board plan, really, which was to give people land here and someone else land over here to break up political power and tribalism. >> host: next call comes from paul from liberty, kentucky. go ahead, paul.
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>> caller: thank you. it's a pleasure to speak with you, linda. and -- >> guest: hello, paul. how's kentucky doing with that water. >> caller: well, we're fighting a good fight against the strip mining and mountaintop removal of the coal fields. it's not going real well. my question has to do with the presence, at the present time of the native peoples, not just in america but all over the world. i mean, a lot of times we think of indians we just think about the indians here in the u.s. but there's native indigenous people that are being eviscerated all over the world. i mean, india has the nextles which are being more or less hunted down. you've got the native indians in
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brazil. even in afghanistan, they call the areas where they're doing all the bombing the tribal areas. and i was wondering if you could just speak to the fact that indigenous people all over the world are under attack. and is there some way we can get this out into the press so they can understand that this should be stopped immediately? >> guest: well, what you're saying was true. i was just in norway and did a performance with a sammi person and a notga woman in india who were under attack by the burmese. and what i think it is there's
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always the land hunger, the taking over for land. and the indigenous people are vulnerable because they're in isolated areas or they're in places that they were sent that suddenly have resources available that others want, for instance, chevron, you know, has been -- i think it's costa rica has just covered the people of the land, the water and all the animals in oil. and so we think about -- what we think about the oil in the gulf but we don't realize that's happening in our regions as well. so it should be published. it should be in papers. and it's very difficult to have that information be out.
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one book that i read was by haw hawkins, i'm sure you remember him from long ago or maybe not. the same thing is going on with -- i mean, in a way, it's not just indigenous people that are under attack now, like you're talking about mountaintop removal. the assault on the land -- it's the same thing. i mean, you're under attack in other areas. and your water -- the water is being ruined, the land is being ruined and it will never be back. it will never be the same. so we have to be ever vigilant about what's happening, which is why i said early on, you know, i pay attention to the small things that are going to affect the future many, many years from now because once something is gone, it will never return.
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and the wars against tribes are ongoing. and they're violent. they're built on greed and the idea of power. my idea of power is to take care of people. having the power and the money to take care of people. instead of buying and purchasing mansions or more than 10 houses or whatever people do with a lot of their money, if they had real power, they would be taking care of people in the world. and why aren't they? what would really make them happy? are they happy? and we need to think about that with massey, you know, with all the companies that are doing the destruction that they are and all of the people who are attacking others for their land base. >> host: next call for author
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linda hogan comes from zebulon, north carolina, ronnie, you're on the line. >> caller: hello, linda. >> guest: hi ronnie. >> caller: it's a pleasure to speak to you. do you know about the arowak indians? and i was owner born in -- >> guest: i'm having trouble -- >> host: ronnie, i apologize -- yeah, we just can't quite make out your words. if you can't call back and see if there's a different connection that could be made or if you're using a cell phone, try to do it on a hard line. huntington, kentucky, nancy. good afternoon, you're on booktv. >> caller: hi, linda. i would like to ask you a question. i've tried several times to call the indian nation and they give me bogus numbers. i can't find any place close to
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me to hook up with my culture. i don't know why this is. i mean, i live in kentucky, close to ohio. and they always want to send me way up in ohio and i can't get to those places. how can i join the culture? >> guest: what nation are you from? >> caller: the same as you? >> guest: you're chickasaw. >> caller: uh-huh. >> guest: go and that will hook you up. and there are also phone numbers there? >> host: and that caller is gone. in mean spirit, what, linda hogan is on the cover of this book? >> guest: nobody is asking me write-in questions. [laughter] >> host: who's on the cover of the book? >> guest: i have no idea. i don't design the covers or pick them. i picked the original on the hardcover and it was a painting by billy rabbit that i really
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loved. and i didn't have any choice in this. so there is a car, a fancy car, and a teepee which doesn't fit the area. it would have been a house with a fancy car. >> host: what is an encampment? you write about indian encampments in this book and in some of your essays? >> guest: well, in those books -- well, in my novels, the encampments aren't so much like a camp or encampment but they are regions where the traditional people still live. and the traditional people who are the knowledge-holders are in one region and so they are visited in by others. they're the elders or the people who have the most knowledge and who are filled with wisdom know
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the ceremonies, know the songs, remember -- remembering, you know? and so they are actually places where people live. but i would say my idea of an encampment would have been in the '70s at wounded knee or something like that. you know, but i'm not sure exactly what you mean by encampments in essays. >> host: well, then we will move on for linda hogan. next call comes from new york, hi, tessa. >> caller: hi, linda. we have a problem with taxation in new york, our governors have said if we can only get hand of indian cigarette money we can close our tax gap. i was wondering if your nation has the same problem with --
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with your state trying to tax you on sovereign money? >> guest: not that i'm aware of but then i don't really pay too much attention to cigarette tax, but i think that because oklahoma is -- has such a large population of native peoples and that's one of the way we educate and pay for education and make a living to build our health collins, i don't think we have the same problem that you might have in new york. >> host: albany, oregon, will, please go ahead with your question or comment for linda hogan. >> caller: hello, linda. i've heard you speak a couple of times at oregon state university. i want to thank you for coming to visit us. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: and my question today is while i've become acutely aware of the differences between
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american history and u.s. history, which most people seem to think that american history started in 1492. what happened to history in 1491 and before? i appreciate you said there's a bridge that seems unbridgeable between the cultures and i'm interested in somehow learning to bridge that. is there some way through the legal process and the awareness of what the legal process has been? it's really quite an atrocious history. paul vanderbilt wrote some interesting books on the history of legalities in u.s. and the hypocrisies your comments on that. thank you. >> guest: yes, the history here began in some places 50,000 years ago.
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and there has been a long and ongoing tradition of change and response to environment like earthquakes, floods, different kinds of things. but i think -- i found that the way that i can uncover that is to put many histories together. i look at different histories and then find what it seems like glimmers of the truth in it and i think to read american indian literature, essays, politics, history, and, you know, by indins in peoples themselves and then see -- see what the thought is like that's different from the thought of the other side --
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the other kind of thought. and anybody going to ask me about writing? [laughter] >> host: what would you like to be asked about writing? >> guest: oh, anything. i'm interested that all the questions are really political but that's all right, too. >> host: your most recent book -- >> guest: yes. >> host: you spent a lot of time writing about the ocean. >> guest: yes, i know. i don't understand why i don't live on the ocean. >> host: you live in oklahoma, colorado, why? >> guest: why do i live there? >> host: no, why do you write about the ocean so much? >> guest: i love the ocean. i just love the ocean. and i've been thinking i haven't seen the ocean for a while and i missed it. but in this particular case, i actually had -- my friend and i, brendra peterson did a book for
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national geographic on wales and people in the whaling community that was preparing to whale -- some of the elders asked us to come and interview them because they were against what their tribal council was doing. and so i followed the gray wales. we followed them and went to different tribal communities up and down the coast and i fell in love with dolphins and whales and sea mammals and so the book is fiction. but it's based on events that did take place. and it's not exactly what everyone thinks it is but it's like -- i was just at a conference where someone was talking about my work and one woman said linda hogan is for and against whaling. i thought that's a really interesting way of looking at it. but in the book, the main
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character goes home because he believes that there is going to be a return to tradition. and he's disappointed whefdz out that his people are involved in a business proposition instead. but i write about the ocean because it's a great power. our life -- i mean, we're made up of the same practically the same amount of saltwater in our bodies. and it has the -- it has mysteries. i mean, it's just full of life. i mean, even the plankton is fascinating. you know, the fact for me -- the gray wales are landlocked and that they have to stay close to land because they have to have their plankton and have to be
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from the sun. it has to be photosynthesized for them to have health, that's amazing. and then, too, they were very friendly to us. and when we were in the birthing lagoon, the last place you would expect them to be friendly. their mothers would bring up their babies on their backs to show their children or they would lift our skiff under the air and we would not be on the water. we would be on top of the whale. anyway, i just feel in love with the ocean and with being in the ocean and kayaking with whales and having experiences that just seemed beyond imagination. >> host: next call for author linda hogan here on "in depth" comes from cleveland, ohio. cleveland, go ahead with your question, please. >> guest: a good ocean city.
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>> caller: hi, this is jasansa. >> host: please, go ahead. >> caller: my question is pertaining to -- and back to politics, sorry. but it's per taping to the wahoo and the racist logo in popular society. we have been protesting to get rid of this logo since the '20s and they continue to disrespect popular society is only interested in cash and disrespect to the people. >> host: now, are you talking about such as sports logos, the washington redskins, cleveland indians. >> caller: yes. >> host: thank you. linda hogan? >> guest: yes. i don't understand why they don't just have integrity and change it. it would be so easy to do and everyone would respect them so much. but they do have that.
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but you notice they don't ever have the ohio spics or the "n" word which is exactly the same thing. if they thought about it in those terms they might change it but they don't feel the same way about redskins or wahoos or braves or whatever -- sooners, they don't feel the same way. it's meaningless. it's as if we are do not exist to them. >> host: this email from rose, ms. hogan, as a native woman formerly working in academia, i frequently find myself in a position of explaining native versus nonnative ideas of intellectual property and how this influences what is considered appropriate to share outside our communities, particularly, regarding spirituality.
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could you discuss how this has influenced your work? >> guest: i don't share some things -- i wouldn't share some things but i think as a native woman, formerly working in academia, there are things i really miss, like, finding out what are -- what new books are coming out and things like that. but the misconceptions about spirituality are really great. and are enormous. and i've finally decided i just don't say very much about it. my response is that our spirituality is the same all over the world, the indigenous
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people respect the life of nature and that's our basic spirituality. .. >> other parts of the country are not shaman. they maybe a helper of the people, they maybe an herbist, they maybe a medicine person, they maybe someone who is able to see things or devine illnesses or diagnose.
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i just find since it's so commonly used, i don't talk about it anymore. >> linda hogan, you write "in the woman that watches over the world." i myself am a failure at faith. [laughter] >> yeah. that's so funny. i was just writing about small things to do. i was faced with one of them. yes. faith and belief, i mean they are things that you -- they don't really help. they don't -- they help you feel better in the moment. but they don't really do anything. and you can have faith in anything. or belief in anything. and it doesn't have to be real. so i -- i place my claim, my bets on material reality. on, you know, what's before me, what's truth, untruth, on the
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material world. and not the abstract. faith is very much an abstract. >> well, christianity is quite prevalent in a lot of your books. and the influence of christianity on the native -- on native americans. >> guest: yes, it is. >> host: why? >> guest: because it's been a -- and continues to be one of the colonizing forces. christianity has been one of the -- from the beginning it was save the soul, but don't worry about the body. it's already to kill an indian person, but you have to save their soul. to this day, christianity, depending on where you live, some people are not christians. some people are southern
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baptist. in their -- you know, like -- in our area. a lot of people go to baptist churches. a lot of us. a lot of people in the pueblos are catholic. they mix tradition with catholicism. it depends on how it's used. but it has been one the worse colonizing forces, education and religion. used against indian people. >> the boarding schools. >> yeah. >> what was the effect? when did it happen? >> they actually were the source of christianity and education. and that happened, boy, in the 1900s. i think. but i actually think that probably there was something similar to that in the 1800s as well. the late 1800s. that there was the beginning of
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schools at least for us before we were we moved, they were enchantments, so to speak, where they were educated and they were taught christianity. and christian beliefs and the idea of being christian, instead of being a heathen. >> host: another one of the recurring related themes in your work, linda hogan is neetive americans who crossed over in a sense and lived european lifestyles. >> guest: yes, it happens all the time. >> host: is that a bad thing? >> guest: i think it's a matter of choice. but i think that there's -- sometimes for people who have done that, there's belonging for home. there's a longing for what is
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lost to them. >> host: next call for linda hogan. memphis, tennessee, go ahead, back. >> caller: go ahead, linda. >> guest: hello. >> caller: one thing, i don't think you are doing justice to the general characterization of the chickasaw nation, most historians or a fair portion believe the chickasaw were about the most belligerent, warlike, and violent group of people who ever were in the eastern part of the united states. they were hardly a peace-loving group of people. not just against the europeans, but against the other people of the southeast, and if there ever was a group of people about
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conquest, it was about the chickasaw. as a member of the nation, you have not done justice in presenting your tribe for what it was. and it's -- it's a bit disingenuous. you mean the general discussion about who the group of people was. >> host: linda hogan? >> guest: i never really said -- i mean i don't mean to do justice by saying we were violent. but during those time periods of the wars, all of the nations and ail of the tribes in the southeast were at war with each other because some had allied with the french, some had allied with the british, and it was whoever was giving them weapons so they wouldn't have their families stolen by the other tribes and sold into the slave trade. and so we all fought with each
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other. we took in the -- there was fighting among many tribes at that time because -- they disappeared. but yes, we came known as the excellent marksman and when the french left fighting the chickasaw. we had to save yourselves. so can the shocktau who were once our close allies and who are again and who took us in after removal by the way. and there was a slavery. i'm not misrepresenting. i haven't gone into debate about the history. we were all violent. there was constant war. we had an eastern band that most people don't know about what
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went down to protect the british in south carolina from the french. and the shocktau tined with the french. they were getting their weapons from the french and shooting us. and the creek, i'm not sure who the creek were getting their weapons. there was a huge massacre which is why we took the survivors in. they kept their own culture, but lived with us. and so, yes, we were all violent at that time. does that answer your question? >> caller: -- >> host: well, we'll hope so. you'll ask to ask it rhetorically. the caller is going. linda hogan, dealing with spiritual dwellings of the
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world. "the world that watches over the world." memoir, "mean spirit," "solar storms" "power," "and people of the whale." the caller ronnie, from north carolina, she has tweeted in a message. ms. hogan, what do people do to preserve heritage? indians still exist, mixed indians with nowhere to go. >> guest: well, if i recall, that would be in jamaica. i believe that probably the majority of arawak are mixed with black jamaicans. and probably do not have a land base. and i don't know, i have no answer for what they would do to preserve to create one -- to create their own nation.
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>> host: well, let's take that question a little bit more broadly. how do you preserve heritage? how do you chickasaw preserve heritage? >> guest: you know, interestingly enough, i think that probably our dancers and singers are the ones who most significantly preserve the heritage. and feel the strongest -- the traditions. that are there. because it was against the law until 1978, actually, all religions were against american law until the american indian religious freedom act was passed. in a country that guarantees religious freedom, we were the only ones who had none. and so -- but in talking to people and interviewing people, it seems to me that those who
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are serious about dancing, the traditional dances, and deeping up the traditional activities have done the best at preserving heritage. we also have a cultural center and search center that's just recently opened and then we have a press. we have writers that write for the press. and i'm working with -- i'll be working with another press with the book that i'm working on. it's definitely a book on preserving culture and heritage and tradition. >> host: what's the significance in that tweeter brought it in as well between full blood and mixed? something you've also eluded to in a lot of your writing. >> guest: well, at this particular point in my life, i don't think there's too much difference. because what you are is -- has
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to do with culture. and the intermarried people before the removal, even if it was a citizen that was white citizen say scottish, intermarried with some scottish, they were still forced over the trail of tears. by the time they got to indian territory they were no longer thinking of themselves as white people. they didn't -- they didn't at all. feel connected to the culture that sent them into such a situation. and so i think the difference is, you know, blood quantum, it's something that bia came up with and most of us these days have mixed blood children, grandchildren, and, you know, or
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are mixed blood grandchildren and children. i have one daughter that's blond and one daughter that has black hair and dark skin. that's just genetics. but it's not cultural. >> host: who are jeannette and marie? >> guest: my daughters. >> host: where are they now? >> guest: my youngest daughter lives in north dakota at pine ridge off of the reservation. my oldest daughter is in colorado. and then i have quite a complex family because i have adopted children. so my oldest adopted daughter has given up her children for adoption.
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and so the woman -- one woman who adopted them, i wanted to adopt my oldest granddaughter, my first granddaughter, and she adopted her. when i wrote "soulless storms" i dedicated to it. she read "solar storms." she said you don't know me, but i have danielle marie. we were so excited. there she is. danielle. >> host: taunya thunder horse? why do you call her jeannetfe in the book? >> guest: they made me change the names. >> host: for legal reasons? >> guest: some things even though people agreed to were cut. >> host: all right. now your daughter is living up
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just like you said off of the boundaries of the reservation. >> guest: right, she uses indian health service hospital. she is -- she has lived on the reservation and the -- kathy that adopted danielle and marie, bless her heart, she works at two different places. she works in kyle also. and she's very hard working woman. >> when you wrote the "the woman that watches over the world" tell me if i'm right, seems as if there was a series of essays then you got into your family and it was maybe 180 to 100 pages straightforward almost biographical writing, autobiographical writing. after you went back into the
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essay form. is that -- was that a correct interpretation of how you wrote that book? >> guest: no, i don't think so. because it may have seemed that way. but i integrated native science into everything. for instance, when i wrote about my daughter, i think my daughter taunya was in the minerals chapter. i had elements. water, fire, minerals. so there's a scene where she in the middle of the night wants to go to a certain place and her does goes along with her. and it happens to be to the place that where the healing earth comes from. only instead of going to the church where people go, she actually goes to the place where the earth came from.
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show doesn't know anything about it. we looked at the map. she went to the healing earth. she had to. she brought earth back with her. so i put in also mineral mountain stories that were written. letters written to a father in europe by a man who was writing about the traditions of people in the north and who was studying the minerals. so i tried to put in different kinds of knowledge in with everything. i tried to mix it all up. >> host: was it tough writing that family history?
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>> guest: no, it wasn't tough. >> host: next call from window rock, arizona. >> guest: oh, window rock. >> caller: i teach navajo writers. i'm always marveled when they make grammatical errors in english, it's because they can't translate a concept from -- for example, there's no proknown for male and female. it's just a person. so they mix it up. they will say he or she when they mean the other. i was just wondering if there was a word in your language that's not translatable. that we need to add to the english dictionary. >> guest: yes. but first of all, just let me say that navajo language is the most complex language, i think, in the world. and the number of verbs are -- you have more verbs in navajo than we have in the entire
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english language. so the concepts aren't translatable, because they are more complex. so when i think about that, i think about how the mind works -- how the mind works with that much more language in it. and when you have different concepts and -- you cannot translate. you can't possibly -- that's why it's hard to get the thought systems to meet. because of the way of thought is so different. yes, we do have words like that. but i don't think they could fit in the english dictionaries, because it would be nice if we didn't have he/she. but we have words like for animal it skipped my mind. i've been writing about it.
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let me go through another one. green and blue are the same word. [inaudible] >> guest: it means when you take it apart, it means south flowing and life force also. it really comes from a river system. and the colors do too. and when i was on the mississippi river in a canoe, i realized really where that word came from and what it meant. the -- [inaudible] >> guest: the world for green and also the word for blue comes from the river itself. it contains ecological and environmental knowledge. and the other word that i was trying to think of is [inaudible] which is the word for animal. which means all alive. and i like that. i like that very much. thinking about just animals are all alive. >> host: tell us about the town of tisimingo.
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>> guest: tishimingo, it's a dusty, dry, hot, small town. there's one main street. there's the chickasaw capitol building, and there's a dairy queen and a sooners. [laughter] >> guest: and a -- what do you call that? sonic, where you drive through. most people if they go out on a date, they go to the dairy queen where they can sit down and talk. >> host: where is the town of gene aughtry, oklahoma. >> guest: it's west of there. >> host: how did that name come about? >> guest: gene bought land there. i think people had the hopes he was going to put money into the town and might it a bright shining town as it had been in the past. before that it was berwin and
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before that it was named lou, one of my great aunts. it's a town of many names. >> host: it's in the chickasaw nation? >> guest: yes. >> host: what's the thought of one the most famous hollywood cowboys being named after a town? >> guest: nobody thinks about it. there are just so many strange names there. and many towns are named after people, you know, wives, somebody named it after their wife. it's just -- i don't think anybody has ever given any thought to it. >> host: have you given any thought to the fact that that is the u.s.' independence day weekend that you are doing this program? >> guest: yes, i have. i have. >> host: what was your thought? >> guest: well, we thought against the americans. because we were working with the british. so it's kind of a problem. [laughter] >> host: next call for linda hogan.
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connie in massachusetts, thanks for holding. you are on booktv. >> caller: hi, linda. i think i may have gone to school with you, three million years ago. >> guest: hi, connie. >> caller: hi. >> host: did you go to the university of colorado, connie? >> guest: in colorado springs. >> caller: oh my gosh, connie. hi. hi, how are you, hon? >> caller: i'm fine. how are you? it's weird to be living and teaches at amherst college, named after lord jeffrey amherst. as you remember when we found out about the blain ets for land story, i was really horrifying. buffy st. marie sang a song. that's not my question. my question is you've written so many wonderful what you would call nonfiction books filled with all sorts of just amazing
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information. and stories. what was it about the novel that grabbed yousome >> guest: well l -- i started out as a poet. and i went to the novel because i couldn't tell certain stories in poetry. i didn't have have -- it was the wrong tomorrow form. so i had to make up the form of the novel. and i really love writing novels. i'm working on one now as well as doing my other research and i have a new book, "indios" coming out this october. which is from a new press that i haven't been with before, wings press, in texas. but they are doing a beautiful job. it's going to be a small hard cover book. it's a performance piece. which is right along your lines. and long poems, both. narrative poem in four parts. >> host: connie are you still
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with us? >> caller: i am. >> host: hang on. >> guest: i know, connie, i have questions for you. where have you been all of these years? >> caller: i'm teaching a amherst. i'm a career playwright. >> guest: i know. we both got gooken humans in the same here. -- guggenheims in the same year. >> host: okay. do you know if her books are used in creative language classes. > caller: yes, i check to see what people are buying. they are. >> guest: thank you. let's do keep in touch. >> host: linda, do you have a
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web site for her to get ahold of me. maybe she could leave her information or i'll write amherst. >> host: if you have a web site, can people contact you? >> guest: they can. i'm also on facebook, connie. >> host: all right. you talked about your poetry. one of your books of poetry was the "book of medicines" it was nominated or finalist for the national book critics circle award in 1993. this poem is called the history of red. and i just want to read one section of it. i want you to tell us what the poem is about. going to read one small section of it. red is the fear that turns a knife back against men, holds it at their throats, and they cannot see the claw on their handle. the animal hand that haunts them from some place inside their blood. first of all, tell us about the poem, the history of red. >> guest: well, it's really
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hard to talk about and paraphrase a section of a poem or even a poem really. but the poem is about being native. it's about war. it's also hunting, you know, with blood. just this long history of, you know, all of the meanings of the word red. also the knife that even in thee -- you know, even in combat. what we do to other people, we do to ourselves. what we do to animals, we do
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ourselves. so people who hunt for food and people who sports hunt to me are very different kinds of animals. and so i've lived in the country where people have had to hunt for food, shoot an elk, because they have to have the food. i also lived in a place now where there's a lot of sports hunting and people have trophied everywhere. and it's very different kind of way of living. anyway, there's throughout the whole book i think there's the turning things back upon yourself. there's what you put out in some way returns. i think it's the first or second poem in the book. it's sort of like the main set
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up for what's going to follow. >> host: minnesota. go ahead, daniel. >> guest: it also has love. i forget that. hi, daniel. >> caller: this is daniel. i'm from duluth, minnesota originally. >> host: turn down the volume on your tv and go ahead. >> caller: i'm from duluth, minnesota originally. >> guest: duluth? >> caller: this is interesting. i know i've had war -- my dad was one the most decorated heros of war. my an ancestors are way back. it goes up to the oregon trial. as far as that goes, my native blood is like the genealogy, and
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a lot of the grace carries me on and knowing what right and wrong as far as a positive aspect. that is what the knowledge and where the extinction comes. i feel there's a lot to it as far as where my ancestors came from. the nativeness, as far as who -- and the indians, they had a battle outside of there. as far as my native blood and ancestors being there another the time, all of my first cousins are peal -- pale faced. i know they did inbred back then. >> guest: are you navi?
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>> caller: no. >> host: all right. we're going to leave the dependent comments. anything that you want to add? : >> guest: became translators because, um, other translators would lie. and so we, we really needed the intermarried white citizens to be a part of us so that we could
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have honest people who were really looking out for us. and then, then we had a great emphasis on education at that time for that reason so that when we saw a treaty and read treaties and things that the government presented us which was often and numerous, we could get through it and have intelligent responses. >> host: linda hogan, here are some of her major works including "dwellings," "the woman who watches over the world: a native memoir," "solar storms," "power," and "people of the whale." recently, booktv visited linda hogan at her home, and here's what we saw. >> guest: so this is the
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meditation room. [laughter] in my house. actually, this is the office, and my computer is kind of hidden by some water color and artwork that got wet in recent -- we had a broken pipe, and it flooded this room and the bathroom, and the rug's been cut out. and i'm actually starting to like the concrete floor, so i may stay with it. it looks kind of quaint. i've been doing my best trying to put some of the things in order, and, um, but there are papers everywhere, and it's really hard. this is an office that i usually work in, and it has my printer, and i like the window, and my horse often comes up to the window, so it's kind of intimate, you know, an intimate place to work. but for right now it's not in working order. well, this is my dining room
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table disguised as a desk, or my desk disguised as a dining room table, i should say, because i write everywhere in the house, and i do different projects in different places. these are my research books. i use different ones for different things, but sometimes they start to merge together like this started out, you know, being my chickasaw journal, and now it's full. and i'm doing research on history and archaeology, and this is how i work. and, um, i like to work by hand. i always work by hand first, and then i type it in. i really wanted to become a writer after i discovered poetry, um, wasn't just written by, you know, people who rhymed and were, you know, edgar allen poe and the old poets. and i, when i was married, my
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husband was given a poetry, a gift of poetry, um, and a book, and i read it, and i was very excited about the book. and i started writing poems just in my spare time, and it was a magical experience, the feeling of writing a poem was wonderful for me. then i finally went back to school, and i took creative writing classes, then i took working class literature which i could relate to because it comig from a family that wasn't a middle class family that, you know, was really a family of poverty. and so when i read working class literature, i thought, oh, you know, there is a place for, um, the kind of writing we do. and then i read faulkner, and he had the chickasaw in there. and i thought, well, if faulkner can write about chickasaws, i should be doing it. >> you can find out about
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upcoming booktv weekend programs like "in depth" by using your mobile phone. simply text the word "book" to 99702 to receive a weekly e-mail about our schedule, and sign up now for a chance to receive a signed copy of linda hogan's book, "people of the whale." standard messaging and data rates apply. ♪
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>> host: linda hogan, you told us that you are currently reading a book called "the ragged edge of the world" by
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eugene linden. what is that book about? >> guest: it's about the borders, i'm trying to think of what it's about. it's a really hard book to read. the borders where, um -- i guess i could say it's about environmental justice. >> host: and -- >> guest: but it's also about his career as a journalist and all of the places that he's visited in the world and, um, the things that he's witnessed and, um, the changes that he has seen over time. >> host: why is it a hard book to read? >> guest: um, it's deep. [laughter] it's deep. it's complex material. >> host: and you're currently reading barbara kingsolver's "the lacuna." >> guest: i finished it. >> host: all right. what's the topic? what's it about?
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>> >> guest: it's about america and during the mccarthy era. >> host: linda hogan is our guest this month on "in depth." 202-624-1111 if you live in the east or central time zone and would like to talk with her. 202-624-1115 if you live in the mountain or pacific time zone. you can also send us an e-mail, or a tweet it's at booktv is our handle. send in a tweeted question to author and poet linda hogan. as we continue to take your calls, stillwater, oklahoma, trevor. you're on the line with linda hogan from stillwater. go ahead. >> caller: good afternoon, ms. hogan. i apologize, i'm excited and really nervous to be speaking with you today. my question -- >> host: hi, trevor. that's all right. >> caller: hi.
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[laughter] i'm quite giddy. your novel, "power," it changed the trajectory of what i was studying in university, and that's actually why i'm in stillwater now. and my question was about, it's a twofold question. i wanted you to go in depth a little bit if you would or could about the end by gram to that novel, mystery as a form of power, and maybe also to tell me because this is a curiosity i have a bit more of what happens to amah. >> host: trevor, before we get the answer, could you tell us how it changed the directory of what you're studying? where are you studying now? >> caller: sure, absolutely. i was an undergraduate english major. um, i had, i was really changing a lot of things about myself, getting rid of destructive habits, and amazon kept recommending this novel.
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and i didn't want to read it because it's about this panther getting shot. and i finally did, and i fell in love with it. and then i started a master's degree working with native american literature and its intersection with science, and so i'll start my ph.d. at oklahoma state university next month in native american studies. so before it was just strictly british literature for me, and so it really, it changed. >> host: all right, trevor. thank you very much. linda hogan, the epigram -- well, if you want to comment on what trevor -- >> guest: that's good. i'll probably see you at some conferences in the future, and you can introduce yourself. well, the book, because the book is about different kinds of power that can't be explained always, i just said mystery was
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a form of power because it is. because there's mystery holds, holds, you know, it holds -- has a great hold on our lives. it directs us. mystery is something that, um, changes people, that moves them, that drives them, that has them given to belief systems to do to anything which is what happens in the book. all of those things. so, um, it became the first thing i wrote in the book because it was the only way i could explain the whole book, really, of -- which is a book of mystery and power. and who holds mysteries and who holds power. >> host: and his second question, what happens to omah? >> guest: what happens to amah?
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um, well, you know, every time i watch a film i always want a different ending, i always think the film goes on beyond the ending. but really amah is, she's shunneds which is a form of punishment. but she's not shunned forever because she has done something really that only two people know was, um, not an evil deed. but to other people what she did with the panther seems like a crime. >> host: karen hue bear e-mails in to you, you mentioned having a brain injury and that writing may have helped you in healing. would you please talk about your writing process and how that process may be aiding your brain in healing. thank you. >> guest: well, one of the things i wanted to do at the chickasaw nation was to work with veterans who were having,
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who had brain injuries that were coming back from iraq and, um, afghanistan that had brain injuries and doing creative writing. and it hasn't really taken off. i've been, i've worked on it, but it just didn't happen. but there's something about the writing process which is, as i've said before, i think almost a form of magic. but it, you form synapses because you, the creative process, the whole notion is something that happens that can't be -- it's like a mystery too, and it's also a form of power. but it, you create pathways in the brain that wouldn't have been there before, that suddenly something comes to you because you have words in this a line, or you have words or concepts together. and it changes how you think.
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and so for me i think that doing writing during that time, it was probably not good writing, but at least it was part of the process of healing for me. and that it may not have happened, i may not have done as well as i did if i hadn't been writing. >> host: another e-mail, this from a woman, jackie st. joan, is her name. linda was my mentor at the university of colorado where the other students and i had the benefit of writing workshops with her, being guests in her mountain home and most importantly, gaining access to her amazing mind. i write to ohioan her as a -- honor her as a wonderful and generous teacher. my question: how does your spiritual life affect your writing life, and can you give an overview of your movement as a writing from poetry to the wide range of work you create today? >> guest: hi, jackie. [laughter] i remember you.
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um, i hope you're doing well and, um, i think about those days. they were wonderful, those days teaching creative writing. i wanted to go back into creative writing and went back into ethnic studies later. but anyways, i went from poetry, i love poetry. i always say it's my first language, that it's really the thing i like to do the most. and i write poetry all the time. i keep doing it. no matter what else i'm working on. but i felt that i had to make a different, different kinds of statements and different kinds of ways of putting words together so that they would do different things. for instance, there are novels that are stories, poetry's like a weaving where fiction is like, you know, you do character development. you show change. it's more linear.
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you have to have plot, you have to have all these developments that take place. so i needed to teach myself how to do that, and then, um, essays. i find, i'm working on some now besides the essays on our histories. but i'm finding that, you know, that when i do essays, it's a different way of thinking. it's like, um, how do i put together two different notions so that they fit and bring in a topic that, um, put together a topic that will work together as one piece even though it has disparate parts? and so i like doing them. it's fascinating. it's a really fascinating process. but it's hard work.
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and poetry's hard work. and fiction is hard work. it all is. but i still love doing it. >> host: what about the spiritual life affecting your writing life? >> guest: oh, yes. that's it. it does. my ancestors actually speak through me, i think, and, um, the earth is part of my writing. and so my spiritual life very much affects my writing life. >> host: carol woodward tweets in to you, linda hogan, linda, how are your works received by your nation's people? any feedback from your fellow citizens? >> guest: well, to tell you the truth, um, chickasaws are, the chickasaw people i work with are really happy to have me there, and, um, the governor brought me home, he asked what he had to do to bring me in. and so the governor of the nation. the chickasaw nation. and so i said, well, do you need a writer in residence, and he
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said, yes, and so i changed jobs pretty quickly. and, um, so i will say that probably the majority of people haven't really read my booksment but -- books, but still are happy to have me around doing the things i'm doing and working on, um, our own histories and our own, you know, our own projects. >> host: what does being a pulitzer finalist do to book sales? >> guest: nothing. >> host: nothing? >> guest: nothing. no. i'm a mid-list writer, and my book sales are pretty low even though i'm really read, i'm more -- i'm read more in other countries. >> host: you sell more books in if other countries? >> >> guest: uh-huh. >> host: why? >> guest: they read me. >> host: do you have any idea why? >> guest: they love -- i don't know. they love the work. i travel all the time to other countries, you know? i'm in taiwan or norway or
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turkey or someplace, and i'm always getting offers to go to other places. but they know my books, they read them, and they know my work. and, um, but my book sales are not, not what they could have been, not what they might have been in my life. >> host: linda hogan, are your books used -- and we talked to connie from the ham best a -- amherst a little bit about this -- but do you know if your books are used for teaching? high schools? >> guest: yes, they are. they're used in classrooms all the time. i'm actually doing classes in wisconsin where they've used the book for four years, and i go visit. so, yes, they are used in classes. i don't know why exactly they show no sales, but -- [laughter] i sign them, so i know that people aren't giving them up. so, but the sales don't really show up on my royalty
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statements. >> host: david in tucson, arizona. good afternoon, thanks for holding. >> caller: hello, ms. hogan, i'm a member of the mission. i was going to ask you, you're a poet only because i attended the 25th annual -- [inaudible] at the university of arizona, and i listened to some of the native women who do poetry. so would you share some of your poetry on the air? so, again, i will be looking if for your book -- for your book here in tucson. >> host: all right, david, thank you. now, linda hogan, we read just a very small portion of your poem, "the history of red." but if david wanted to see some of your poetry, do you know where it is online? is some of it on your web site? is. >> guest: yes. some of it's on the web site, and as soon as i am home and have things in order a little bit, um, it will be on universe.
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but i think you can probably just look for linda hogan poems online and find some. >> host: elizabeth from philadelphia e-mails in: which native american writers do you admire? also which writers, native american or others, have influenced your writing the most? >> guest: well, i really like leslie so kohl's garden of the dunes, it's an impressive, amazing book. i've used it, i use it in classes. um, i'm interested in, i'm interested in maybe literature from long ago up until the present, so i'm, you know, keeping, trying to keep up with everybody's work. um, which is really hard because there are so many new writers coming out all the time, and i
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can't keep up. but, um, "garden of the dunes," i have to say is one of my favorites. i think "tracks" is an incredible book. um, well, i have my friends, all my friends i love their work, you know, deborah hedge, miranda hitchcock, you know, eric gainsworth, you know, there are all kinds of writers who we know each other, and they're excellent writers. so, but i think when it comes to, you know, who influences me the most it would be probably the ones that i've named. and darcy mcnick old from, he was turn of the century flathead. some of the writers who are also very capable of saying little with, saying a lot with few words, um.
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scott momaday has a brilliant novel, very difficult. took me three tries to get into it. so those are -- and they are, those are fairly well known writers. but most of us aren't, you know, the thing is that there are some -- it's a world of token writers that you hear about a few, and there's only room for a few. it's like when -- it's like applying for a job and saying, oh, we already hired an indian, you know? it's not like whether you're a writer or not. it's like, oh, we're not thinking of you as a professional, we're thinking of you as an ethnic whatever. and, um, it's the same way in the writing world. it's like, oh, we've already got our, you know, our token writers. and so the other many good
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writers go unseen, unheard. >> host: linda hogan, you've used both the terms "native" and "indian." what's the current thinking on the use of "indian" as a term to describe native americans? >> i don't think any of us care too much. indigenous, tribal, you know, i just intersperse them wherever. [laughter] >> host: are, are tribes important? >> guest: what do you mean? >> host: is the allegiance to a tribe very important more so than, perhaps -- does that question make sense? >> guest: well, yes. it's like whether you're italian or german. >> host: right. and is it, is it more important or about at that same level?
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>> guest: more important than being italian and german? >> host: no, no. more important to native americans, their tribal connection. as opposed to, you know, white americans being from scotland or norway or -- >> guest: well, i think so, yes. i mean, it's a country. we belong to the, we belong to a nation. and so, um, and it's one that's still there functioning. you know, we haven't left it. and we can't leave it. i mean, it's who we are. >> host: this e-mail from ricardo from texas, how hard was it to get published for the first time? >> guest: well, i think i was very fortunate the first time because, um, i sent some poems to the greenfield review and joe
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bruschak. he, also, is a great writer and an editor. and he said, do you have any more? and i said, yes. so i sent my, more poems to him. and he made them into a book. and so that little book which doesn't exist, t out of print now -- it's out of print now but "calling myself home" was my first publication. and then i also was publishing in magazines. and it's almost as if there's a process. you usually start with small magazines, small presses and then, you know, just keep going until somebody recognizes your name. because they've seen it enough and then, you know, larger presses are interested. >> host: well, your first novel, what was the process of getting that published? >> guest: well, i actually found the publisher first, and then he found an agent for me.
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>> >> host: and who was the publisher? >> guest: it was lee gerner, and the press doesn't exist anymore either. so they were a part of, um -- >> guest: ricardo's second part of his question, andrew jackson betrayed the cherokee horribly. i heard some tribes refuse to use the $20 billion. >> guest: well, actually, some people write "indian killer" across his face, and some people put xs on him. and so, you know, he doesn't have a good reputation, that's for sure. [laughter] >> host: next call for linda hogan comes from karen in columbia, maryland. hi, karen. oops. better push the button. >> host: karen, could you start again? >> caller: sure. i'm a teacher, and i've used your books in discussions with
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hospital staffs and in libraries and also in adult education classes, "solar storms," to great success with the readers. and, um, i wondered two things. you use awarenessover spiritual -- awareness of spiritual energy in the material, i mean, in the natural world. is that something you started with, or has that grown over time for you? and secondly, do you have a writing routine? >> guest: um, well, to answer the first part of your question, um, yes, i think that i've always been interested in, um, the land and the life of the land and the spirit. and the second part is i have a writing routine which is i like to write from the moment i get up in the morning i like to start, and i like silence and
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quiet. and, um, i usually don't like to stop, but i have to at some point because i'll have to do other things, go to work and -- sometimes it's very hard to be working writers and not to have the luxury of just being able to do your writing. but other things interfere. and it seems like, you know, internet these days seems like an interference in a way. i keep going over my limit on my internet which is people get their things bounced back to them because if i'm traveling or writing, that comes first. and so, um, i, my writing routine is to write as much as possible. [laughter] >> host: next call comes from estes park, colorado. hi, nan. >> caller: hi. linda, glad to hear you. just fascinating. and, but i did want to make a
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comment. i grew up south of pine ridge in crawford, nebraska, near fort robinson. >> guest: yes. >> caller: and i was always taught and it came easy that when you hear, you know, of these tribal names given to teams, to me i grew up thinking that's a form of respect, okay? i just wanted you to know. and thank you, and i'm nervous, so i'll get off the air. >> guest: oh, you don't these to be nervous. i should be nervous. >> host: any comment about her mascot comment? >> guest: i suppose that everyone has a different way of looking at, at, um, whether it's a form of respect or disrespect. so i think, um, most of us don't think it's a form of respect. we don't like the things like the tomahawk chop and, you know? is. >> host: next call for author
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linda hogan comes from ackworth, georgia. hi, vicki. vicki, you with us? >> caller: hi. >> host: please, go ahead. >> caller: thank you so much. i am so thankful to be able to speak with you. >> guest: hi. >> caller: i was born, i was born in, um, i'm sorry, my brain isn't working because -- thinkway, i was born in oak city, oklahoma, and my family, um, my dad was born in, um, batesville, arkansas, and he is indian. his last name was taj. and we have never been able to get any information about him. but yet, um, we cannot find, um, any information on that at all,
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but i was hoping that, um, maybe you could help me to find out information about the tajs? my dad was born in 1900, and then my mother was born right outside of oak city, oklahoma, and her last name was, um, ryland. and so there was some indian on that side of the family as well. >> host: resources. where would you recommend she start? >> guest: well, first of all, i don't know where that is, so i don't know who, um, who's there. but i would go on, you know, the local tribes in that area and just go on their web sites, and most have lists of names. and, in fact, it's sort of a surprise when you find your own -- sometimes you'll find, you know, if they have your family, your own name will be on
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there, and you don't know it. and your children's and everything. so they have names of who is, who they knew was there in the past. >> host: linda hogan, does the bureau of indian affairs here in washington still have a lot of influence when it comes to policies at the chickasaw nation? >> guest: um, i don't know if influence is the right word, but they still do have a lot of, um, they still have a lot of, they still make a lot of decisions for tribes. and sometimes without notifying tribes. but they still do have a lot of influence, yes. >> host: and in "mean spirit" during the 1920s oklahoma oil boom a lot of native americans had oil land, correct? and were quite wealthy from the royalties? >> guest: yes, uh-huh. >> host: you write about how many were declared feeble-minded
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by -- >> guest: incompetent, yes. >> host: incompetent and, therefore, could not receive all their royalties. >> guest: that's right. >> host: was that a historical fact? >> guest: yes, uh-huh. right. and, actually, more often it was full bloods that were declared ip competent too. -- incompetent too. >> host: now, are there still native americans with the oil rights, or has it been -- >> guest: a few, yes. >> host: just very few? >> guest: um, i think it's very few, but i think some of the oil rights are still being collected by non-indians. >> host: i'm going to read this portion from "mean spirit" that you write about. this is a letter that was sent, and you'll be able to figure out what this means. >> guest: i know the letter already. >> host: dear sir: i am a young man with good habits and none of the bad with several thousand dollars and want a good inyang girl for a wife -- indian girl for a wife. i am sober, honest, industrious
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man and stand well in my community. i want woman between the ages of 18-35 of age -- not a full blood, but prefer one as near white as possible. i live on a farm most of my life and know how to get results from a farm as well as a mercantile business. having means, it is natural i want someone my equal financially as well as socially. if you can place me in correspondence with a good woman and i succeed in marrying her, for every $5,000 she is worth, i will give you $25. if she is worth $25,000, you would get $125 if i got her. this is a plain business proposition, and i trust you will consider it as such. >> guest: yes. that's a real letter. it was taken from my research. and not uncommon. and that's how it was seen. it was seen as business deals. >> host: and why was this white man wanting to marry an indian
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woman? >> guest: he wanted her money. >> host: an oil allotment? >> guest: right. and be he was going to pay for every amount she was worth he would pay a percentage to this indian agent. >> host: who were the indian agents? >> guest: well, there were many of them, actually. they turned over, and i don't know the names of the people, but they were the people who were in charge of handing out the money, the checks and setting up tables and, you know -- >> host: were they indians, or were they -- >> guest: no, no, they weren't. they were assigned by the government. >> host: they were assigned by the government, okay. how common was that? or how frequent was that? >> guest: that was everywhere. >> host: shirley in 'em metsburg, iowa, you are on the line with linda hogan. please go ahead with your question. >> caller: hi, linda. i've never read any of your
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book, but i'm sure going to. i'm three-fourths irish and one-fourth cherokee. i can't hear you. >> host: we're listening to you, shirley. >> caller: all right, good. my story of my grandfather and us passing on his life, we passed for irish because our family was scared to death to admit that we were native american. and i didn't really admit it until i was in charge of ruth ran world relief -- lutheran world relief in my church years ago and found out that there were people in my church that were not agreeable to giving any of the lutheran world relief items to native americans. but i also wondered what kind of a education did you get in grade school? because my teachers were so terribly prejudiced against native americans and didn't know
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since i was blond and blue-eyed, the rest of my siblings were dark-haired and dark-eyed like my mother, they didn't know i was native american and were very outspoken and said, oh, it was good that those savages were gotten rid of because they were so savage and so stupid. it was too bad that we department have really smart savages like they did down in south america. i wonder if you ever heard any of that. and i have one more question. >> host: go ahead, shirley. >> caller: i thought of doing my grandfather's story which would be called probably "cherokee charlie: an iowa farmer," and telling the story about how prejudiced the people were at the time that he followed my irish grandmother to iowa from oklahomaer territory, and that e had to change his name, his age,
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everything in his background before he was allowed to marry this pretty irish girl who was also the daughter of a, um, of pastor in the methodist church. >> guest: i think you should definitely start writing. just sit down and write, and enjoy the process and write about your grandfather. and as for -- i'm trying to remember your first part of your question now. um -- >> host: facing prejudice, i think? >> guest: facing prejudice. i was really very poorly educated. i didn't pay much attention in school, and so if anyone said anything like that, well, actually, i would have probably perked up right away. but i don't recall anyone saying anything like that. um, in our school. but on the other hand, i went to
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schools that were multicultural most of the time. >> host: military schools? >> guest: yeah. army schools or schools in army neighborhoods or on bases. >> host: in your memoir you write about being a common law wife at the age of 12. >> guest: yes, uh-huh. >> host: how did that experience occur, and is there -- did it affect you later on in your life? is. >> guest: yes. i was in love, and it still affects me, i think. i still would like to find this man even though, you know, it was probably not healthy in that he would have been arrested under other circumstances, i think. but i still wonder what happened to him and, you know, i would like to know. so on the other hand, you know, i don't know if it affected relationships that i had with people later or not.
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i know it was a form of love that was important in my life, and, um, you know, he was generous and kind to me and, you know, it was a good relationship. it sounds crazy, but it was a good relationship. >> host: next call for linda hogan comes from globe, arizona. hi, paul. >> caller: hello. yes, i'm paul from globe, arizona, i'm right next to the san carlos apache reservation. i've lived here my entire life. >> guest: hello. >> caller: and what i'm particularly interested in is the relationship or i should say the differences between native languages and the english language. especially regarding abstract concepts. and i feel that english words often because of its complex history really are very difficult to use as a truly
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describing indian concepts. abstract concepts are difficult to talk about. and i was just wondering if that is one reason why you might have used poetry as a way of describing some things, was -- because it's more metaphorical, and that telling stories is so important. scott am dais lived down here in tucson, i don't know if he still does, but i had the same experience in talking with him. i just wondered what your comments are about this. >> guest: well, i do think that poetry is a way of saying what can't be said in ordinary language. and, um, that stories also, you do what you -- you can tell, you can say things that you can't speak in just conversational language. but that's also one of my main interests s the difference in the languages and thought.
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language and thought and how it influences, um, the way we think. and there are, i think, many different complexityies to the system of understanding the world or seeing the world or knowing depending on the language you grow up with. >> host: riverside, california. hi, ruby, you're on booktv. >> caller: happy fourth of july, everybody. independence day. >> guest: hi, ruby. >> caller: hi, how are ya? my question is, indigenous people have been so stereotyped. are there any authors who have done justice to any main figures you know of in the past? and also your comment about how you kind of lost faith.
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i would encourage you not to give up, because there is a creator out there, and all things happening now have been prophesized, so don't give up on that. he is real. >> guest: i'm afraid i had a hard time understanding exactly what you were saying. um, your words. but, um, does anyone deal with stereotypes, i think, yes, just about all the writers deal with stereotypes. and i don't give up on anything no matter what, so i'm not too worried about that. [laughter] >> host: linda hogan, for those just joining us now, why is it that you didn't start writing until your late 20s? >> guest: well, i didn't really, um, well, it never occurred to me for one thing. and i didn't really discover the, you know, contemporary literature until i was older. i went back to school as an older student. >> host: who was a professor
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who influenced your writing? >> guest: well, the first person that allowed me to take his creative writing class was rod gellema at the university of maryland, and so i suppose i'd have to say him because i was very, um, nervous about going back to school, and i asked him if i could go to his class, and he said yes. and so i went to his class, and people were writing poetry. and it was a workshop, and it was exciting and, um, i really -- it was, sent me into studying literature. i've studied psychology before, um, but then i went into literature and, um, i can remember taking working class literature, and i really related to the working class literature
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and proletariat literature more than anything else that i had taken. and so that had a big effect on me. and then, also, i knew many of the, um, writers even writers that had been blacklisted i had met, i met later in my life like maridel lassour and tilley olsen that are incredible and amazing writers that have been ignored in influence and sort of lost their momentum because of history. >> host: linda hogan, you open "dwellings" by saying you had long prayed for an eagle feather. >> guest: oh, yes. and the interesting thing is that i worked with the eagles, but it was illegal to take an eagle feather. so, you know, i had wanted an eagle feather. and i'd wanted the naming ceremony, actually, when i was
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young. and we didn't, we didn't have them that i knew of at the time. so, um, yes. and then, then i had an eagle feather. [laughter] >> host: what's the significance of an eagle feather? is. >> guest: you know, i couldn't explain it to you. what's the significance, i mean, they're like having something that's so, so, um, special. i mean, it's like -- >> host: a talisman? >> guest: it can be used for helping, healing, it can be used for speaking, you know, it can be used -- it's like a speaker's rattle almost. it can be used for communicating
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with, you know, whatever you would conceive of as spiritual. um, i'm holding one here. [laughter] >> host: um, you say it's illegal to have an eagle feather. is it -- >> guest: no, not for native people, but when i was working with birds, it was illegal to pick one up or take one home. >> host: even if i picked one up off the ground, if i saw one on the ground and picked it up, it would be illegal for me to have? >> guest: keep it. you would just not display it, you know? but, like, my father could display his. >> host: lee in worcester, massachusetts, good afternoon. this is booktv. >> caller: hello, ms. hogan. by way of very brief introduction, my maternal grandmother's grandfather was cherokee, but i think that small part, um, has my ethos comes from that in terms of respect for place, um, respect for those
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who came before, um, the infusion of the spirit in this each living thing is unique, consciousness. so i'm not familiar with your work, ask that's why we watch booktv. and where would be the best place for someone like me to jump into your writing? >> host: linda hogan. >> guest: well, any place, i think. but you might, if you're not familiar with the work, you might not read a lot of poetry, so you might start with "dwellings "or one of the novels. new, anyway -- but anyway, thumbs up on everything you said. that sounds wonderful. >> host: can you talk more about your next book, "indios," and what else she is working on next? >> guest: "indios," as i said,
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it's a performance piece. it's a one-woman show, and i'm not a performer, so i don't know if i'll do it, but i might try and see how badly it goes. um, but it's -- for 30 years, i guess, i've thought about medea, the story of medea, and i've done research on the story of medea. and, um, to me she is an indigenous woman who was taken away. her father was a sorcerer, her aunt wasser sercy. she came from another world into her husband's world. and then he betrayed her. and so what i've done is taken that story, i've thought about it for so long, how could i work with it, what would i do to make it into the story of a native woman, and, um, i put it in a contemporary setting where a woman is being interviewed from,
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in prison. she's being interviewed. and she's been interviewed before, so she's kind of tired of the interviews, but she does them anyway. um, but so it has this one woman on stage answering the questions. it's also poetry. so it doesn't have to be a performance piece, it's also a poem. and, um, which is, you know, like i said, my first language. it's what i love to do. but it's, it gives insight into the true story of medea who, actually, did not kill her own children. they were stoned by the corinthians because they were worried that the mixed-blood children would come into power, and they wanted the, um, children, jason and his new wife's children, to come to
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power instead. but she wasn't innocent because she did put the burning, you know, the cape that would burn the new wife on her, she did give it to her as a gift. because she had a knowledge of plants. so it's about many levels about -- of things, about the knowledge of plants, about coming from another place, being in a different culture, being isolated. um, it's, it has so many different levels, it's very hard to talk about. but i'm excited about it. my regular publisher didn't publish it because it's, um, he wanted something longer, and he wanted me to do a new and selected book which i didn't think -- i think it needed to be on its own. so, um, bryce milligan at wings press is doing it. and it's, um, it looks really quite lovely. a friend of mine did the design, the jacket design.
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dustin moder, he's a chickasaw. >> host: and that's due out when? >> guest: it's coming out in october. >> host: here are some of linda hogan's major works: dwellings: spiritual history of the world, the woman who watches over the world, mean spirit which was a pulitzer finalist, solar storms, power, and her most recent novel, "people of the whale with," published by norton. next call for linda hogan comes from starch, nevada. hi, lou. >> caller: hi, lou. [laughter] linda, i was enjoying your talk today, but a person mentioned andrew jackson in an unfavorable way which is well, but i've just finished reading a book about tecumseh, the shaw knee indian who devoted most of his life, according to the author, to
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trying to join the indian tribes into a confederation which would be much stronger to fight the european invasion and the taking of the indian lands. what is the viewpoint from the native more american standpointt tecumseh compared to the favorable viewpoint that was in this book? >> guest: well, we think -- i think he's amazing. he was wonderful, he was a prophet, his brother was a prophet. they traveled together. um, you know, he wanted to do something that actually turned out to be, would have been an impossibility. it would have resulted in massive genocide of the people in the southeast. but his ideas were really very good. but, um, when he came to talk to
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us and to the choctaws, there was this long speech about why he would not join in. and he, he was wrong on his reasons, but he was right not to join together. um, but tecumseh said, well, this proves that i'm not, you know, i'm not just a fake or a phony. when i get back to detroit, the earth will shake, and the buildings will fall. and when he got to detroit, there was the new madrid earthquake where the buildings did shake, and the river changed -- the mississippi river changed course for a while. and new lakes were formed. so it was -- and it was a major earthquake in that part of the country. so, really, he was, he was -- i wonder what it would be like if he was around today.
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[laughter] >> host: linda hogan, i think tecumseh is an anglicized name of that chief, is it not? >> guest: i don't know. >> host: because you give his real name or his native american name in "the woman who watches over the world." >> guest: oh, something like something star, shooting star. >> host: no, you give the indian pronunciation. >> guest: it had something to do with a comet. that's right. >> host: there you go. next call for -- how did it get to tecum shah, do you have any idea? the. >> guest: oh, yes. because when the white men were there, he scared them by telling them there was going to be, you know, a flash of light through the sky that night, and there was. >> host: next call, troy, michigan. hi, lillian. >> caller: i've been waiting and happy to talk to you, miss linda. >> guest: hello. >> caller: i don't know you, but i am very happy to know that i am going to read all your books.
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i would like to ask you sin you say you like the ocean, you should take a trip to nova scotia and see the ocean, but you will also visit the mix mack tribe there if you're familiar with them. and i don't know if i have indian in my background, but i have been told i have, and it could be through the french. and looking at you i have to say you'd be surprised, if i met you, we kind of look alike. my hair is darker. but i'm old, and it'll get like that soon. but i'm enjoying all your conversation, and i have a very strong indian feeling, if you understand what i mean, about things in the life and the earth and animals, and i don't know why, and i get very angry when i hear disdiscrimination. i left canada when i was 17 and came to america, and before that i hadn't heard or seen discrimination there against indians or black people. i'm sorry to say that, i am an
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american now, and when i came here i was kind of shocked. but that's still going on. you know it and i know it. but i am going to read your books, and i really commend you having a brain injury that you're such a good writer. >> guest: thank you very much. and, actually, i would love to go to nova scotia, and my cousin is married to a micmac, so i am familiar with that area. so i would love to go up there, and that would be great. thank you. >> host: we have this tweet for you from tarcia. linda hogan, advice for a writer who has a passion for writing but does not have the ability to pay for creative writing classes. >> guest: well, i think the thing is if you have a passion for writing and you love writing, just you can do your own classes, do your own, you know, read the writers you love
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and write. and, um, you don't have to take classes. you don't have to go to school. in fact, many of the writers that are doing well couldn't get into school for one reason or another. they thought they were not good enough, or for some reason it didn't work out. but i remember barbara kingsolver saying that her work was considered not good enough to get into a creative writing class. so, um, i don't think that you have to go to school or pay for the class to become a writer. just do it. that's my, those are my, my sayings which is like mikey, just -- like mike key, just do it. and the other one is just because it doesn't work this time doesn't mean you won't be able to do it. >> host: chris is on the line from new haven, connecticut. >> caller: dear, dear lady.
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you're such an inspiration. i've been sitting here having, just listening to you since i called. my whole questioning is changing. just your name, hogan, i mean, to me it means home. [laughter] let me guess where you're from. [laughter] >> host: i'm from new haven. >> caller: but i was in a production of the play, "medea," and if you ever write your book and it's turned into a movie, i want to play creon, okay? the. [laughter] when you talk about your love of the ocean and i love that the lady from nova scotia talked about it, i was thinking to myself, but native people have been traveling to the ocean and across the whole continent forever. i mean, i remember hearing the name council bluffs, and i said why is it council bluffs? it's because it was pretty much equidistant from every place in
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the north america, that we could all meet there. and another thing was your use of the word, "we." earlier you were talking about the viciousness of the americans, and you said "we." you included yourself. you include the native peoples as, also, part of america. we are all americans. and so i thought about sacajawea, and she's hooked up with lewis and clark in, i think, st. louis, and she didn't run into her brother who, by the way saves her life because he was the chief of a tribe out in idaho, okay? and she said, oh, there's my brother. so she, obviously, travels from idaho down to st. louis, and now she's going back -- >> host: hey, chris, can you bring this to a conclusion? >> caller: are you surprised that you love the ocean even though you come from a landlocked part of the country? >> host: thank you, chris. >> guest: well, we're river people. you know, we were the
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mississippi and, yes, the trading paths and the journeys and across the gulf of mexico. we've all, we were everywhere in the past. so there wasn't anyone that stay inside one place. stayed in the one place. we journeyed all the time. >> host: rachel in amherst, massachusetts. you're on with linda hogan. >> caller: hello again from amherst. i'm so delighted to be able to speak with you, linda. >> guest: hi, rachel. >> caller: hi. well, i wish my partner hadn't fallen asleep. he loves greek mythology, and he would have been awed to hear about your medea project. [laughter] but we've read your works aloud to even other, we -- to each other, we really love them. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: and, let's see, i guess i have to frame a question. >> host: no, you don't have to. if you just wanted to call and say hi, we'll move on. >> caller: well, just quickly, i live in a community that's
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renowned for being very multiculture, and yet i find we're still very isolated within our little cliques and groups and that it's very hard to create those bridges. um, i appreciate how much writing can do that and reading aloud can do that, um, but i wonder if you have any advice or ideas about really breaking those boundaries? also i want to just share a little bit, i was born in mexico to north american jews, i've lived in puerto rico, i've always been hyperconscious since childhood of the issues of class and race, and it just shocks me myself how little people seem to know about anything outside of their own experience. and how little we seem to empathize. >> guest: well, i have to say that, you know, i thinking beinn the army, having a father that was in the army, that that was a multicultural experience.
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and, um, that living in oklahoma is not. um, so i feel the same way as you do. i mean, i feel that there's a sense of isolation that i haven't always felt. and so, um, but i do see what you mean exactly about how do you break down the boundaries and how do you break through the borders. but, um, i notice that one thing is i'm home, and i'm homesick for my friends and for the community i've been in before. because of the same thing that you're talking about which is live anything a community that -- living in a community where everybody stays to themselves in this different ways. >> host: mary manning e-mails in if, as you write, do you need to spend time alone? is after a journalism career, i find being alone helps deeper
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thinking, especially writing in journals by hand. >> guest: yes. yes. and yes. because i also write in journals by hand, and i haven't been able to find my favorite kind of journal, and i finally found one yesterday here in washington, d.c., and i was thrilled. so i'm carrying an extra little weight in my backpack. [laughter] >> host: do you use a laptop? >> guest: um, i do have a laptop, but i always write by hand first. and so i have journals that are, um, they're all the same kind now. but i try to get different colors, and it's not possible anymore, so i have to distinguish, distinguish them in other ways. but, um, i write by hand, and i these to be alone. or i need total silence. i just, i don't -- my dog can be around or, you know, any other animals or anybody can be around, but they can't talk. they're not allowed to talk in the morning.
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>> host: charles in nevado, california. you're on with linda 40 goon book -- hogan on booktv. >> caller: hi. >> guest: hello. >> caller: i admire your bravery in the current political situation as you stand fast for the downtrodden. my question is, do you feel that the reason the other groups representing the oriental, the blacks and the latinos gain recognition and our indigenous people don't get the recognition that they should is because if they were given that recognition and the truth of the stolen lives and stolen land were brought to a court of law, that there would be tremendous recompensation for what has been done to them? >> guest: well, i think to answer your question, um, it's
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not just the lack of recognition, but the form of treatment, yes. there would have to be some kind of compensation. the president did sign an apology to the indigenous peoples of america, but that was all, that was as far as it went. it wasn't like a public apology like in australia and other countries. but, and that was last year, i believe. um, but most people don't know about it, and most of us don't even know about it. so i think that, um, maybe there's a fear of that kind of recompensation. and certainly the asians and what they went through at angel island and other people who have been, i mean, sometimes i find the atmosphere now to be shocking and frightening and, um, i just -- there's nothing to
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be done except to wait it out and see what's happening and to write letters and make phone calls and things like that. but we live in a very, um, we live in a pretty dynamite situation right now. >> host: what does that mean? >> guest: well, i think we have people who are, um, backed by corporations and money and who, um, want to keep it. and they don't want other people, they don't -- there's a lack of fairness. there are, um, i mean, look at wisconsin, you know? it's like who do we need the most? the we need our teachers, we need our, the work force. i mean, we need the people who are working class. and those are the people who are losing the most. and so, you know, this is
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happening not just in wisconsin. now it's happening in new york, it happened in oklahoma. it's happening in other states. but it's happening in other countries. and other countries as the fallout of our own greed. >> host: next call for linda hogan comes from eugene, oregon. hi, sara. >> caller: hi. thank you so much for taking my call, i'm really honored to speak to you. you guys were speaking about native americans from oklahoma having oil rights. um, actually, the bureau of indian affairs currently to this day -- my brother-in-law is from one of those tribes -- the government actually makes those decisions for them and pays them pennies for the millions of dollars that they make off of their oil rights. so currently natives in oklahoma, in our country right now are having those rights taken from them by the government, basically, making those choices for them, the bureau of indian affairs is making choices about the finances for them currently.
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so i just wanted to make that comment. >> guest: no, that's a good comment. and it's true, and they're doing it to all of us. and there is a review, a financial review of the bia which is supposedly going to take over ten years for the wrongs that they've done and for the money that they've stolen. and the same thing happens in this other places where ranch lands are leased out for pennies a year, and, um, we had an incident with forest being cut without us knowing about it on our lands to timer rights given by the bia to the timber industry. and it's in court now. >> host: being here in washington, have you visited the relatively new american indian museum down on the mall? >> guest: yes, i have. >> host: what are your thoughts about it? >> guest: um, well, you know, you need a lot of long, slow,
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contemplative time there. it's not some place you walk throughly. and so i have been there -- walk through quickly. so i have been there, but i haven't been able to formulate good thoughts because i've never been able to be there for a few weeks and go through the place really slowly. >> host: bill, mobile, alabama. this is booktv's "in depth" program. this month linda hogan. >> caller: hi, linda. glad to see and hear from you. in the field of psychology, you'll often see in textbooks and hypothesis called the wharf wharfian hypothesis, and it goes something hike -- like this: that we think, people think in terms of the language that they learn. for example, if we learned
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english, we'll think in terms of that language. if we've learned italian, we'll think in terms of that language. and, of course, bilingual people are interest to that extent. and also from that point of view the language would often govern the thoughts that we have. i have two questions regarding the whorfian hypothesis. one, can you tell from the spelling of this person's name, w-h-o-r-f, if that may be a native american person. and, two, what do you think about his hypothesis regarding how we think from our acquisition of language? thank you. >> guest: um, no. benjamin whorf was not. he was a scholar, he was not native. and the, i think that probably the language has a great influence on how people think, but so does the environment and
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ecosystems. if we're talking about cultures, also have strong influence. and the languages and the ecosystems actually go together. um, they work back and forth together, so they're formed, the language is formed by the ecosystem. so, um, but, you know, there were a lot of people at that time thinking and coming up with different theories about language that were, um, significant. >> host: sounds like he should read "dwelling. ". >> guest: yeah, maybe. read "dwellings." >> host: because it's all about language, much of it. [laughter] when you say that the ecosystem is important in language development, can you give an example or explain what you mean by that? >> guest: well, each people grew up in their own environment, their own ecosystem. and so their language and their,
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their worlds are really formed by what's in that environment. and so, you know, the artifacts that you find, that archaeologists find have to do with the certain environment that you wouldn't find those particular artifacts in the another environment. but the language especially is formed by what is many that environment -- what is in that environment. and so if you live in the desert, you know, it creates a certain kind of person and certain kind of, you know, like it was what's -- the english patient where they talk about all the different names for wind, you know, or you think about all the different names for wind or all the different name for snow or all the different names for kinds of flows and currents of water. all those things would be in a language that might not be in another language.
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>> host: teresa e-mails in from bloomington, indiana -- first of all, are you familiar with helen hunt jackson's writings, and -- >> guest: yes. >> host: question -- what's your opinions of those writings? >> guest: well, i this i she made some pretty strong statements that were important at the time that she wrote. on the other hand, i've looked at her journals at the colorado college library, and she didn't have a lot of experience with native people, but she still really wanted justice. >> host: linda hogan, you write about how your childhood was a childhood of solitude in many ways. does that affect how you write? does that, does that make you a writer? >> guest: no, i don't think. i don't think. i just, um, had a quiet life. you know, and i didn't have a family that yelled. i mean, i didn't have, you know,
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just -- it was just a very different kind of life than i think what most american people have. and i don't think it made me a writer. actually, when i decided to go to school, my mother couldn't figure out why i should go to school instead of becoming a beauty opener or, you know -- operator or, you know, like going, becoming something else that was where i could actually make a living. [laughter] >> host: are your parents still alive? is. >> guest: no, they're not. >> host: just recently passed? >> guest: no, it's been a while now. >> host: and here is a picture of your parents with, i believe it's tonya thunderhorse -- >> guest: my daughter, tonya. name is tonya park now. >> host: tonya park, and your granddaughter -- >> guest: vivian. yeah.
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>> host: rochester, new york. david, you're on the air. >> caller: hi. just a quick comment about tecumseh that you mentioned a few minutes ago. tecumseh was the original name, and it does mean shooting star in the shawnee or whatever his mother's maiden tribe was. metacomet refers to king phillip, and he fought in the 1600s. and my question to the lady, linda hogan, is how many indian tribes today still have their original language, and are they producing works, scholarly work in that language? and do you speak any of different tribes' language? >> guest: um, i think almost all the tribes still have their language or are revitalizing, and, um, even have, um, programs
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for children where they only speak the language in school part of the time. and so immersion programs. and i think that, um, i've taken classes in chickasaw. i don't speak other languages. if i did choose one, i think i would try to speak navajo, but it's way too complex, so i'm not sure i would ever be able to learn it. but i'm an amateur speaker. [laughter] and it's hard to learn another language, and it's hard especially as you get older. >> host: linda hogan, why in many of your books have you chosen to write about tribes other than the chickasaw? >> guest: um, you mean, like in the novel? >> host: yes. >> guest: oh. because i don't want my own tribe to get mad at me. [laughter] so i take political situation
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that's happening somewhere else and, you know, and use that. then that way i don't alienate myself. >> host: cynthia, betten, arkansas. hi. >> guest: hello. >> caller: hello. >> host: you're on the air, please, go ahead. >> caller: okay. >> host: you know what? you've got to turn the volume down on your tv, otherwise you get that feedback. we're going to put you on hold, and we will come back to you, i promise. ted in sand san diego, good aftn to you, sir. >> caller: good afternoon. so many good questions and commentary today. you know, i'm curious, and this may have been commented on earlier today, but i came into the program a few minutes late. recently there was a lawsuit that was settled up from eloise
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cobell v. the united states government, the interior department. and i think it was finally decided on in the supreme court, and i'm wondering if ms. hogan has heard of that. she may have commented on it when i was on, when i had my tv on mute. but if she knows anything about that, i'd be interested in hearing her thoughts. >> host: you know, i'm not sure, but i believe that you're talking about the shoshone woman, and i really department know it was settled -- didn't know it was settled, so i have to say i don't know much about it. but i'm surprised that anything has been settled yet because it takes so long in court. and i think she's still alive. and i know that is the uranium miners' suit is still ongoing, and everyone has passed on. so it usually takes a really long time to get things taken care of in that court.
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>> host: let's go back to benton, arkansas. go ahead, cynthia, with your question or comment. >> caller: yes. i have a question about the trail of tears. i'm sure -- can you tell me something about this? >> guest: which one? >> caller: the trail of tears? is. >> guest: yes. >> host: what specifically do you want to know? have you not heard of the trail of tears? is that what you're interested in hearing about? >> caller: yes. >> host: all right, thank you. >> guest: well, there were many, but it began in georgia with the cherokee when gold was discovered in georgia, and laws were made that cherokees could not even represent themselveses in court. so they lost their land because of the discovery of gold, and they were sent into indian territory. and it continued up through, from tribe to tribe up -- we were among the last, the creek
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were the last. and so we went, and we observed what was happening and who survived and how they survived and, um, went in smaller groups at different times. so, um, and never the less, we're still not in good shape when we reached indian territory, those of us who survived. who, as joy says, were not meant to survive. >> host: what was the significance of pine ridge of wounded knee? >> guest: you mean in the '70s? >> host: uh-huh. >> guest: i think it woke everyone up. i was in school with connie -- [laughter] who called earlier at the time. and it, my father and i both got notes from -- it was a newspaper that went out to all the native people all over the country.
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and, um, we both got it at the same time and read it, and we were just horrified at what was happening. and that the united states government would call out tanks and everything just because there were, you know, some people inside of a church. and, um, it was really significant in making everyone conscious. it was politically -- it was a time of people becoming, um, politically aware of what was happening. >> host: kathleen from grants pass, oregon. we have about a minute left. please, go ahead. >> caller: yes, good afternoon, ma'am. i'm really glad to be able to ask you this question. i've been writing off and on since i was 8 years old, and in the last few years, excuse me, i've written several native american quote-unquote legends and stories, and people ask, well, where do you do your
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research? and i don't do it, and my mother's very fond of saying, well, she does it through osmosis. what i want to know is if you ever find with your writing when you sit down and put your pen to paper, it just flows for you? thank you for taking my call. >> guest: oh, yes. that's always good when writing just happens. i love that when it, you sit down, and it just flows. but it doesn't happen every time, unfortunately. >> host: how, how many times does it happen? >> guest: um, well, i have, i haven't really counted, but -- [laughter] about a fourth of the time maybe. >> host: jennifer, boston? got a second left or two. >> caller: approximately how long does it take you to write one of your books? >> guest: um, sometimes it takes -- depends on the book. sometimes it takes three years, sometimes it takes six. it just depends.
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um, and it depend on whether it's poetry or fiction, um, because i moved and because of other circumstances. the books that i've -- the novel i'm working on now is taking a very long time. but that's just the way it is. i'm doing other things at the same time, and i have other books coming out. so -- >> host: linda hogan, of the books you've written, which one is your favorite? >> guest: oh, it's always whatever i'm working on now. >> host: but as, again, of the books you've written already. >> guest: oh, in the past? the. >> host: yeah. >> guest: oh, i don't know. i just -- that's very hard to say. i think i like "solar storms" because it brought my granddaughter to me. >> host: and if you were to recommend one book to people to read of yours, what would it be?
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>> guest: well, i suppose "dwellings." >> host: why? >> guest: because the essays are small, um, they're, um, about topics that people really care about. they're, like, short stories in part, and, um, it seems like it has more meaning to it in if a short space. -- in a short space than the novels. >> host: we have had the pleasure of having the last three hours with linda hogan, author and poet and chickasaw nation writer in redense. residence. here, very quickly, are some of her major works beginning with dwellings, then the woman who watches over the world, her native memoir. mean spirit, pulitzer finalist. solar storms, power and "pele

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CSPAN July 3, 2011 12:00pm-3:00pm EDT

Linda Hogan Education. (2011) Linda Hogan. New.

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